Finding the right rental home for your needs and budget can be quite the task, but Eden Heights is here to help! Read on for our top tips to determine if a property is right for you, and contact us when you’re ready to move. You can browse many of our homes right here on our website, and our friendly agents will work with you to understand exactly what you’re looking for – and make sure you find it!
1. Know Your Budget
Before you even start viewing homes, the very first step is to determine your budget! While this may seem like simple advice, be sure to consider your budget overall, and not just for your monthly rent. As an initial cost, you’ll need to account for the security deposit and other one-off expenses associated with moving. Beyond that, having a holistic monthly budget planned out will help you better compare options with different rental terms – for example, certain properties may include some of your utility costs, giving you more flexibility on the monthly rent. Working with an agent will give you a leg up when it comes to finding the best home possible for the size and location that you’re looking for! Speaking of location…
2. The Perfect Location
When considering where you’d like to live, take both convenience and lifestyle into account. Think about your most frequent commutes, and which areas best fit in. Work, school drop off and shopping are all important things to consider once you start viewing properties. Check with your agent on the morning and evening traffic patterns, or even try the drive from your potential home to your office one day. You’ll also want see how your rental would fit in with your free time! Is it in a good area for walks and jogging, or are there some great restaurants nearby? See what’s within walking distance, and quick driving distance, to give you an idea of your potential future weekend plans!
3. Assess Security
Part of your thought process around location should include security in the area, but you also need to take a serious look at the physical security of the property itself. Does your rent include security services, and/or is the home within a gated community? Are there cameras, an intercom or an electrical fence? Your agent will be able to best advise you on the general safety of the home’s location, as well as the measures that the individual property, compound and estate offer.
4. Know the Property Rules
It’s very important to know any property rules before deciding to move in. One big consideration is the pet policy, whether you already own a pet or are considering having one in the future. You also want to look into regulations around noise and use of common spaces, to know both what will be expected of you and what you can expect from your neighbours. Another large factor is modifications; lease terms can cover everything from how you’re allowed to hang pictures on the wall to whether or not you can paint, so be sure to get clarity on what is – and is not – permitted.
5. Tour the Amenities
In addition to the amenities available in your potential home’s general location, what exactly is available in the compound or building? One of the best parts about living in Nairobi is the city’s famously mild climate, with beautiful weather for much of the year. Does your rental offer any spaces to enjoy time outside, whether private or shared? Is there a pool or garden where you can relax on sunny days? Also consider more practical amenities, like parking – is there enough to cover your household’s vehicles, and would there be space if you were hosing guests?
6. See the Layout & Style
When it comes to a rental property, you want to be mindful of the look and feel of the space, because depending on the property rules and the duration of the lease, it is often not possible to make drastic changes. Find a space that you like as it is, and that you can jazz up with your own furniture and decor. Be sure to take the layout into account – for example, do you want an open plan kitchen, dining and living area for maximum space, or would you rather have separate rooms? Be sure to think about bathrooms as well, and consider whether they are ensuite or detached, and whether they offer showers, bathtubs or both, according to your needs. All of these considerations are important when you’re searching for an unfurnished home, but of course take on even more significance with a furnished rental, where you need to feel comfortable and at home with the style provided.
7. Check Lighting and Power
Check on the amount, location and type of lighting available in the home’s rooms. Some properties, for example, may have sconce lighting only in the bedrooms, instead of overhead fixtures, so determine if the home fits your preferences before signing a lease. Be sure that there are ample power outlets for your appliances and your preferred room setup. If you know you’ll want to create a work space in the living room or a bedroom, make sure there is a convenient outlet where you’d like to put it, or see how you can plan to use extension cords. In Kenya, one critical consideration is backup power sources. Does the property have a backup generator in case of outages, and what are the policies around running it?
8. Test the Storage and Cupboard Spaces
Check on cupboard spaces available in the home and make sure you have ample room for your things. Does each bedroom offer a built-in wardrobe, or are you looking for a walk-in closet or dressing room for your master bedroom. Are there any general storage areas, for instance under the stairs or in the hallway? Be sure to try out all doors and drawers in the home – including in the kitchen – to make sure they function smoothly.
9. Find Agents You Can Trust
Work with agents you can trust, who are registered with the Estate Agency Board Of Kenya, to make sure that you’ll have a helping hand in case of any unforeseen issues. All of the above steps will help you find the right rental for your needs and budget, but you always need to plan for the unknown. One of the most important things you can do is find someone who will be on your side, throughout the process of finding a home and beyond! At Eden Heights, we have a proven track record with many satisfied clients, giving you the support you need to rent with confidence!